Plastic vs. Metal: Which Is Better for Your Project?

October 31, 2018 7:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re thinking about fabricating a new product, you may be wondering which production material is best suited for your needs. Many products that can be fabricated out of light metals like aluminum can also be made from plastic. There are a number of things to consider before determining whether plastic or metal is a better production material for your needs. Working with a plastic design company in Utah can help you determine which material is right for you.

It’s important to carefully consider the intended use of your product and any stresses that it will be exposed to on a regular basis. Both plastic and metal possess a number of pros and cons that make them each an equally compelling choice for your product’s fabrication.

Benefits of metal

For millennia, metal has been the primary production material of choice for virtually all human civilizations. It’s easy to work with, incredibly strong, endlessly durable and able to withstand a number of environmental factors that destroy most other production materials. Here are just some of the other benefits of metal in product fabrication:

  • Heat resistance: Even the lightest, weakest metals are extremely heat resistant compared to other production materials, like plastics. This means that you can subject your metal components to higher operating temperatures (and higher temperatures overall) without having to worry about warpage or melting.
  • High tensile strength: Metals possess an exceptional amount of tensile strength. You can count on your metal components to withstand tremendous amounts of pressure, especially if they’ve been well-engineered. There are few production materials stronger than most metals.
  • Easy to clean: With proper attention and care, you can clean your metal products easily. Stainless steel, in particular, is cleaned effortlessly. Unlike other production materials, metals rarely bond with contaminants. As long as rust is kept at bay, metal is easy to care for.

Metal isn’t perfect, however. Most metals are susceptible to rust. Additionally, they are exceptionally heavy and generally cost more to produce than plastic products. Fabricated metal products will likely need more advanced post-production treatments, like deburring.

Benefits of plastic

Compared to metal, plastics are a versatile, affordable and lightweight production material suitable for use in a wide range of applications. Here are just some of the reasons to consider using plastic for your fabrication needs:

  • Machinability: Unlike metals and other hard-to-work-with materials, plastics are extremely malleable and easy to cut, making them easier to machine into custom shapes and more.
  • Doesn’t ding or dent: One of the primary problems with producing products out of metals like stainless steel is the fact that they ding and dent. Plastic, on the other hand, isn’t susceptible to this kind of damage.
  • Custom products are affordable and fast: If you need a custom fabricated plastic product, you can count on receiving it expediently and affordably.

D&D Plastics is a premier plastic design company in Utah. To learn more about ways that we can help you fabricate your products, reach out to one of our friendly representatives today.

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